“They Already Don’t Like Us”

Laura D. Brown
1 min readDec 17, 2018


A fight breaks out near the gym entrance at the large, suburban high school where I teach. I see members of the Step Team that I advise walking from that direction and my heart sinks. I send up a quiet prayer. Please, don’t let one of my kids be involved.

The upperclassmen on the team show somber expressions, but a few freshmen are excited by the incident. Many students have their phones out–chattering like hyenas–capturing the moment live.

As practice begins, I call the team together. I instruct the new and former members that the student involved in the fight would no longer dance with us. I am saddened to lose a male performer, but I am compelled to repeat the motto: “Step members do not fight.” One of the team captains supports my statement and informs the students that drama is not welcome. She tells them: “They already don’t like us.”

Many shake their heads affirmatively. No one disagrees. I bear witness, a pensive observer.

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